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Active Member Interview: Harleena Singh

Active Member Interview: Harleena Singh

As part of member interviews, today we have Harleena Singh and she is someone who needs no introduction. She is so active all over the web and her face is pretty familiar to bloggers.

She is known for her thoughtful and insightful blog comments on various blog and she is a pretty good networker. I’ll let her speak ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey Harleena, you don’t need any introduction. But for the sake of getting this interview started, please introduce yourself to the DoSplash community!

Sure, Jane. Iโ€™m Harleena Singh – a freelance writer and a blogger. I started blogging for my passion of writing and it has been a hobby of mine. You can say I was a hobby blogger, who got bitten by the professional bug to become a professional blogger. ๐Ÿ™‚

Though I’ve yet to make a mark as a so called pro-blogger, Iโ€™m working on it by trying to make my living through the blog. I follow my own teachings that itโ€™s your balanced life and doing what you love that brings you happiness, and money may be not really be a significant part of it.

As I work from home, I manage both, work and home. Iโ€™m a mother, a wife, and a budding entrepreneur too.

So you are a freelance writer. What got you into writing?

I was teaching earlier, but quit my job because I wanted to give more time to my growing kids. Since I used to teach English, my father suggested starting writing as I had a flair for it.

I guess it runs in the family because my parents used to write, and my sister, who was already a freelance writer, guided me further. Therefore, Iโ€™d say a turn of events got me into freelance writing, which was never under the radar for me, and I can say the same for blogging too.

Tell us about the website(s) you run

Aha!NOW

My main website is Aha!NOW – a self development blog. It caters to the personal, social, and professional development of an individual with an aim to bring happiness into life.

My professional website is FreelanceWriter.co and this is through which I get my freelance writing projects.

How do you make money online? What are your major income sources?

As I mentioned earlier, for most of my blogging journey I was a hobby blogger, a blogger with an aim to help people and bring about a positive change in the world we live in. So, I never really considered the money earning options other than the Google Adsense, which paid off for my hosting and other expenses.

My major income source remains my freelance writing projects.

You are known for your comments all over the web ๐Ÿ™‚ Tell us what motivated to start leaving comments? Other than doing other kinds of promotion/marketing activities?

I love to visit and read blogs, and leave my comments. I never found blog commenting as a tough task. I had the belief that this is the best way for a non-technical as well as a novice blogger to build relationships with fellow bloggers, which is what really matters in the Blogosphere. As a result, I made lot of friends online, and most of them being bloggers, it got me busy with commenting all over the blogosphere.

Give us 3 tips to manage time while being a prolific networker/commenter like you ๐Ÿ™‚

Honestly, I really have a hard time managing my freelance writing and blogging together, along with my task of home management. As you mentioned, it is essential to manage your time effectively and properly. Time management is the key factor I would say.

My tips would be to divide your day into different time slots and fill them up first with the essential tasks that you canโ€™t forgo. For me it was my duties of managing home, fixing a time for freelance writing, and my blog, which needed attention in different time slots.

Then divide the rest of the time for blog writing, blog commenting, and blog promotion purposes. Do take care to leave time slots for your personal and social time too, and then follow that timetable religiously.

It is obvious that sometimes you cannot do it all. So, you need to prioritize your tasks in the order of importance to you. Itโ€™s good to focus on things that deliver, without ignoring other important aspects, like relationships.

Therefore, you need to have a balanced schedule and be ready to slog it out in the initial days of blogging. Reduce on your personal and social time too if needed, because once youโ€™re set in and gain recognition, you can afford to take out some time for your personal aspects.

Blogging is never an easy task if you want to fully go ahead with it, in order to create a mark and make money too. Sometimes, blogging is overwhelming, but if youโ€™ve planned your day in advance, things get easier. I’ve some tips for time management on my blog that might help.

What are the 3 mistakes you made when you started out blogging, that you cannot forget even today?

My first mistake was to choose a domain name that had no keywords as I didn’t even have any clue about my niche that time. My second mistake was not choosing a specific niche. My third mistake was to neither start on WordPress, nor build my list from day one.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t call them mistakes because when I started blogging, I didn’t think that I would take it up as a profession one day. Had I known, I am sure I would have started in a much better way and kept all these things in mind after making a proper research.

Having said that, my domain name didn’t have any negative impact on my blogging, and the more people got associated with me, the more Aha!NOW became a familiar and popular name for them.

Considering the SEO factor, Iโ€™m glad my domain name is not an exact-match that Google doesn’t like. Later I read somewhere that you should not have a โ€œhyphenโ€ or โ€œdashโ€ symbol in your domain name, but then I didn’t know this before.

I believe that if you do things with a good and pure heart, then whatever happens happens for your good. Now, since I started writing on multiple niches, my blog became a multi-niche blog, and surprisingly, that turned out to be in my favor. Moreover, because I introduced the niches gradually, after knowing what my readers liked, they accepted that lovingly and willingly.

Since I had no intentions to make money as a blogger, I did not care much about building a list. Nevertheless, it is a good way to get in touch and make a bond with your readers, and itโ€™s not always about money. However, now I get many subscribers daily, whoโ€™d like to be notified when I post new content. So, I am happy because the list is slowly but surely, is building up.

Later I realized that when you become a full-fledged and full-time blogger, you need to earn from what youโ€™re doing, that is from your blog. So, one should always keep the monetization option open for the blog but not blog only for money. This is one area I would be working on, though at my own pace.

Since you’re interested in networking, how do you find blogging communities play a role in your online marketing strategy?

Blogging communities are important and very useful. They help to promote your blog and posts to a large audience and increase your reach and engagement in that process. You not only get traffic back to your blog but you also develop relationships with other bloggers, which can result in repeat visitors and mutually helping each other and creating profitable associations.

I am a member of many blogging communities for the three years of my blogging career, and for me thatโ€™s the third element of blog promotion, besides blog commenting and social media promotion.

How did you hear about DoSplash? And what are your views on DoSplash?

I heard about DoSplash from you, Jane! You had mentioned that you were going to start it but I had my hands full of other blogging tasks that time, so it took me time joining in. But later when I joined DoSplash, I realized itโ€™s something that a blogger should never miss. DoSplash is different and special in its own way . I like the little interactions that goes along, and how we can build better blogging association with each other.

I know you keep working on DoSplash to make it better, and it is certainly becoming better by the day. Not to mention, that itโ€™s very easy to put up posts on DoSplash as compared to a few other communities, so that is an additional benefit too. I wish you and everyone on DoSplash โ€“ all the very best, because I know itโ€™s going to keep growing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Share your top 5 blogging tips/secrets/strategies with the DoSplash community!

My blogging tips are very simple and they are no secret at all. Probably many bloggers know about them but do not involve them in their blogging strategy.

a) My first blogging tip is to have a blogging strategy or a plan. Have a blogging aim or destination where you want to reach, know your niche and its influencers, and plan the posts that you want to write by making a blogging calendar.

b) Always be strong on blog promotion and relationship building. Promotion without creating relationships is not as effective as creating relationships and then promoting your blog. As a blogger, you can first sell yourself (not literally!) and then your blog.

c) Choose a premium theme if youโ€™re serious about blogging, and have your own domain name. Itโ€™s better if you choose a self-hosted blogging platform than a free platform. Try to use as many free tools and plugin in the beginning, but itโ€™s worth to spend on CommentLuv, which will help you bring traffic to your blog โ€“ at least in the initial years.

d) Pledge on creating good and interesting content always, which will help people. Iโ€™d recently written on how you can improve your writing skills, which might help. Your content alone has the capability to take you to great heights. Always create your personal presence on your blog and have it on your โ€œAboutโ€ page too.

e) Donโ€™t ever undermine SEO. Always research keywords and use them wisely in your blog posts. Besides, you should learn about content marketing in various formats like YouTube videos, podcast, Scribd, SlideShare, etc (though I need to start with a few of these myself as yet!). Get as diverse as you can in distributing your content.

You can go on and on about the blogging tips but these are some of them that really helped me reach where Iโ€™m today in the blogosphere.

Thank you for this opportunity Jane, to share the facts of my blogging journey and interact with your blog community.

Thank you so much for your time and wonderful answers Harleena ๐Ÿ™‚

About the author

Jane Sheeba

I am Jane, the owner of DoSplash, a community based social site that helps bloggers promote and connect. I do online business since 2007 and I have a few successful online businesses that earn me full time income. Don't forget to check out my other websites: Jane Sheeba and Best Hosting And Design.

14comments
Harleena Singh - June 13, 2014

Hi Jane, and to the DoSplash community,

Thank you so much for putting up this interview. It’s indeed a pleasure to be here, and an honor to be part of your community. Not to mention the wonderful connections made and the opportunity to showcase our work. I wish you every success with your endeavors.

Appreciate it once again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reply
faheen - June 13, 2014

Mam your awesome in blog, What ever you have written in blog it was amazing, whenever i have doubt regarding blog i used to redirect to your blog because your amazing

Reply
    Harleena Singh - June 14, 2014

    Hi Faheen,

    Well, thank you for saying that, and I am glad you like it ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s good to know that my blog can help clear some of your doubts, and if you have any problems or questions anytime, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
Swadhin Agrawal - June 13, 2014

Hello Jane maam and Harleena maam,
It was genuinely inspiring to read this interview especially when I woke up just now feeling demotivated as I was not able to blog since few days due to very slow 2G network.
Time management tips what i wanted to ask Harleena maam since long and see it is up there.
Reading everywhere that not starting on WP is a mistake I am afraid since I am on blogger.
I too have been on Dosplash since may be a month but not active because of slow net. The one post I shared was received very well and Thanks to you Jane madam for creatind this. I came to know about thus when I was looking your about page and stumbling on your other blogs.

Thank you Harleena maam for your tips …they really help. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reply
    Harleena Singh - June 14, 2014

    Hi Swadhin – good to see you here ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nice to hear that, and don’t worry, I think the Internet connection problems is something we all face, so you aren’t the only one.

    Is that so? I wrote about time management long time back, and a few posts on how you can stay focused and productive too. You can use the search box on the right side bar of my blog and type the word you want to look up. If I’ve written about it, it takes a few second, but would surely show up.

    You are not wrong to start on a blogger platform, and a free one if is, because you need to be sure first you want to be a blogger and continue with it. Often times, bloggers start with full enthusiasm and tend to quit midways or prefer to take up some other jobs and careers, and if they are on a paid WP theme, it all goes a waste. So, I would suggest to wait and watch, and once you are sure, definitely switch to a premium WP theme. I am sure Jane would be able to guide you better in this aspect.

    I can well understand how it all gets at times, though DoSplash is a wonderful community and it’s a good platform to meet other bloggers and showcase your work. Yes, share more of your posts, and I think if net connection is a problem, I am sure you can submit more than one post together, if it is allowed, so that it reaches more people.

    Thanks for taking out the time to stop by here today, we appreciate it a great deal ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
donna merrill - June 13, 2014

Hi Jane,

I noticed my friend Harleena on this post so I just had to come on over! Harleena writes the most fantastic comments always. She is dedicated and a trusted friend.

What I just love about AHA Now, is that Harleena is always writing, interviewing people and will lend a helping hand.

Her advice in this article rings true. I strongly believe that those who follow this will attain a great blogging experience and also can use their blogs as a basis for business.

-Donna

Reply
    Harleena Singh - June 14, 2014

    Hi Donna – so nice to see you here too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you so much for your kind words of appreciation about my work, you make me reach seventh heaven!!

    Yes, I am so glad I started the interview series, along with a few new categories like blogging and writing, based on the survey I had conducted and surprisingly, this was what my readers wanted in addition to what was present already at the blog. All of it happened at the start of this year. I am glad the interviews are helping a lot of other bloggers and readers as you get to learn so much from the probloggers, which includes me too. Of course, Aha!NOW was created with an aim to help others in some way or the other and I am happy if I can do a little of that while blogging.

    Thanks once again for taking out the time to stop by here today, Jane and myself appreciate it a great deal ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
Mi Muba - June 14, 2014

Hi Harleena Singh and Jane Sheeba
After finishing this interview I just asked myself what I learn from it. So the list kept going on that is why I stopped it and first making comments here.
In the last four questions and their answers there is much information and even training for new bloggers to learn how to schedule blogging chores, how to avoid worst blogging mistakes and what are blogging secrets of a pro blogger like Harleena Singh.
The blogging vision of interviewer also played a big role to make this interview very awesome. Since she has been in this field for the last six to seven years that is why she does know what new bloggers want to know and what is useful for them.
Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful interview post.

Reply
    Harleena Singh - June 16, 2014

    Hi Mimuba – good to see you here,

    It’s so kind of you to say that, and nice that you stopped to leave your valuable comment as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you liked the answers, and that’s all thanks to Jane for framing such wonderful questions I would say. Yes, I guess I have a few years of experience being a blogger, so that would surely help new bloggers as they can learn what to do and what not to do from my blogging journey so far, and you know I would never stop to help new bloggers reach higher goals, after all, that has always been my aim to help others, isn’t it?

    There are no secrets, nor do I like to keep any from my readers, and I don’t think I am a pro blogger yet, Mimuba, there is so much to learn and so much to do – but I surely made my share of mistakes, which were not exactly mistakes as I mentioned, because I was never meant to be a professional blogger that I’ve become today. But as they say, you always learn from your mistakes, and perhaps if I had to open a new blog today, I would know exactly what to do and what not to do, having run my own blog for 3 years.

    Thanks for taking out the time to stop by here today. We appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
Sylviane Nuccio - June 14, 2014

Hi Jane,

What a great idea to interview Harleena here.

I’ve known Harleena for about 3 years now. I remember her blog when it was looking very different then it is now.

I think that Harleena and I have two things in common, we both love to write and write as a freelance writer, and I might add that we both blog about writing and personal development.

I don’t even know how she manages to be everywhere as much as she is, and I only wish I could do the same.

Nice interview, Harleena ๐Ÿ™‚

Reply
    Harleena Singh - June 16, 2014

    Hi Sylviane – nice to see you here too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes indeed, been a long time and the journey has been an enjoyable one. I think as one learns and progresses in life, one keeps making changes that are for the good, and the same thing happened with my blog.

    I started with the free Blogger platform, and then switched to a new premium Genesis them, and then to my new one. Might just change again if something better comes up.

    I agree with you there, both being writers and bloggers, and how we have to manage things, though I have the additional duties of a family with kids to take care, and my dog too, who is so much a part, just like you have Sophie, your cat. Yet we carry on, isn’t it?

    It is pretty tough to do it all single handed, and I might just have to cut down on my being everywhere as the fans increase with the circle of contacts now. It honestly gets tough.

    Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
Reginald - June 16, 2014

Hey Jane,

Excellent spotlight with Harleena. For me, Harleena brings blogging to a whole new level. While people monetize their sites with adsense and stuffs, she makes money blogging with freelance writing etc.

For me, that’s bringing the whole ‘make money blogging’ to a new level.

As a friend, Harleena is one of the best; best to none to be honest. Look highly on her and what I really don’t get it is that she has SO much time! Haha. Active on social media nearly every hour of the day.

Top notch!

Reply
    Harleena Singh - June 24, 2014

    Hi Reginald – good to see you here ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sorry for the late reply…just been taking a summer break and peeped in today to take up a few pending comments, before I vanish again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes indeed, I never took up blogging with the aim to make money with it as I had my writing for that and it works well for me. But with the time I’m spending blogging nowadays, I just might change things in the near future.

    Thank you for saying that, and so are you dear friend. Oh no…I honestly don’t have the time, and am often checked at home for the ‘me’ and ‘family’ time I take out to give to my blog and social media. That would change too once I am back ๐Ÿ™‚

    Appreciate your comment, and thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
Rajeesh Nair - May 26, 2015

No matter how many times you come across the interviews of your favorite bloggers, it’s not enough. You always try to know something more about the inspirational blogger while learning a few more tricks…

Harleena has always been a motivation not just how she blogs but also the way she communicates through social media… That kind of humbleness in a mentor can only be found in the blogging industry.

Thanks Harleena for being in the industry and sharing your worthy insights on blogging, life and relationships every now and then. It’s always helpful.

Regards,
Rajeesh Nair

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